[AMRadio] Seeking advice on "wires in trees"

Dave k9ux at mchsi.com
Wed Apr 29 14:25:56 EDT 2009

I have used a pulley system myself and have had good luck with it.
But I used a boat winch to hoist the antenna up and down. I attached the 
winch at the bottom of the tree with a piece of
wood block. The winch has locking teeth to keep it taught, and I detach the 
handle to keep anyone from playing with it.
I used bungee cords at each end to allow some movement in high winds.

I am now trying to put up a loop and am going to try electric fence anchors 
in the trees.

Dave K9UX
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "D. Chester" <k4kyv at charter.net>
To: <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 11:35 AM
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Seeking advice on "wires in trees"

>I would never use a pulley, springs or weights.  Use some good, heavy duty
> UV-resistant rope.  Instead of a pulley, use a medium size "johnny ball"
> strain insulator, like you would use on guy wires.  Don't use the smallest
> size. Attach the insulator to the rope that goes across the limb, just as
> you would a guy wire, and securely tie the  rope.  Then run the rope that 
> is
> attached to  the end of the antenna through the hole.  Pull the first 
> rope
> until the insulator is just a few inches over the limb and firmly tie it
> down.  Now pull the antenna rope, letting it slip through the hole in the
> insulator until the antenna is as tight as you can get it.  If you leave
> too much slack and sag, it will bounce all over the place and likely shake
> itself apart in a windstorm, and sometimes the feedline can manage to 
> tangle
> itself up with anything else it can.
> The insulator has no moving parts, and if the  ropes are inserted 
> properly,
> about the only thing that could go wrong would be to break the insulator,
> which is unlikely since they are  designed to handle at least 3000  lbs.
> The rope just slips through  the hole over the glazed porcelain. Pulleys
> have a bad habit of freezing up over time, or the rope derails off the
> groove at the edge of the wheel and manages to bind between the side of 
> the
> wheel and the frame of the pulley. Or the whole thing rusts over time and
> falls apart.
> The spring is even a worse idea.  If it doesn't stretch out in a 
> windstorm,
> it will very quickly  rust in two and break.
> The rope over the limb should not be able to slip back and forth.  That 
> will
> wear the rope in two and cause chronic damage to the tree as well.  Better
> to let the tree limb grow over the rope with time, and use the insulator 
> for
> the antenna rope to slip through.
> Generally, it is a bad idea to tie the rope or wire  round a tree limb if
> that can possibly be avoided.  This may eventually cause rot to set in and
> you lose the entire  limb or even the tree.  If you can climb up to the
> point of attachment, a better idea is to get  a hot-dipped galvanised (not
> zinc-plated) threaded eyelet with about a 1/2" diameter threaded rod and
> about 3" longer than the diameter of the limb, drill a slightly larger 
> hole
> all way through the limb, insert the eyelet through the hole, and secure 
> it
> in place with galvanised washer and two nuts.  Use the first nut to hold 
> the
> eyelet, and use the second nut as a "pal nut", torqued down tightly 
> against
> the first one, to avoid the possibility of the first nut managing to 
> unscrew
> itself from the eyelet.
> They also make eyelets with a shank like a wood screw, which will work if
> you can get them screwed most of the way through the limb, but that may be
> easier said than done.  I have found it easier to pierce a hole with a
> cordless drill and use the nuts and washer method of attachment, 
> especially
> while hanging onto a tree limb at  40-50 ft. in the air.  A good climbing
> belt is highly recommended.
> When I  had my antenna in a tree, I could climb to where it was attached, 
> at
> both ends.  I had better luck using #10 copperweld wire for the antenna,
> good *heavy duty* insulators, and attaching the antenna rope directly to 
> the
> tree, pulling it as tight as I could, and permanently fastening each end 
> so
> nothing was slipping through anything or over limbs.  During windstorms, 
> the
> antenna would actually hold the limb stationary and the feedline would
> bounce around less.  That antenna stayed up at least 5 years before I had 
> to
> re-do it.  With rope looped through the insulator or over the limb, I 
> could
> count on putting the antenna back up after every heavy windstorm, at least 
> 2
> or 3 times a year.  But flimsy wire and/or antenna rope will break.
> Don k4kyv
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